Sweet Curry

Do you ever want curry in a hurry? I am a HUGE curry fan! Some of my favorite curry eating experiences have been in Thai restaurants. I love yellow curry, so I came up with my own version here. Needless to say, I could eat the whole pot of this sweet curry! It is really delicious. Turmeric, which is found in curry spices, is an anti-inflammatory agent – a good reason to eat more curry…like everyday!

The sweet potato and apple really add the perfect sweetness to this curry and balance out the kick of the curry powder, but your palate still gets hit with a nice heat at the end of each savory bite. I like to eat my curry like a soup sometimes or serve my curry with a side of basmati rice or over some buckwheat ramen. No matter how you serve this, it is purely satisfying. Enjoy!

1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium sweet potato, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup fresh green beans (or frozen)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/3 cup full-fat, canned coconut milk

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle a bit of grape seed oil in the bottom of the pot and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, curry powder, pepper, sweet potato, green beans, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and apple. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and taste for seasonings. Serve.

Creamy Bean with “Bacon” Soup

I am still loving this soup season and have another wonderful soup recipe to share with you! One of my all-time favorite soups growing up was Bean with Bacon soup. It was so comforting to dip my piece of toast into that rich, smoky soup and feel that all was right in my little world. Well my friends, I have re-created that little bit of soup peace right here! I have kept the beans but got rid of that artery clogging bacon. (Ew…gross!) You will love how simple this recipe is and how easy it is to put together in one pot. But most of all, you will love how this soup tastes! It is thick, rich, and filled with a nice smoky depth. This soup is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and it will keep you full for hours – bonus around my house! This soup just may top my all-time favorites list…ENJOY!

1/2 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in a small amount of grape seed oil or water until tender, about 10 minutes.

Combine 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cans of cannellini beans in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the blended beans to the vegetables in the pot, along with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 can of whole beans and all the seasonings. Simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes – allowing the flavors to blend. Serve hot.

Curried Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

I am really enjoying this winter weather! I look forward to eating nice, warm, comforting meals. Of course soup is on the top of that list! If you are a fan of sweet potatoes, lentils, and curry, then you are going to LOVE this soup! This soup has just the right amount of kick from the curry but the sweetness from the potatoes balances it out nicely. Did you know that lentils are a stellar source of folate and fiber? They are an excellent energy source and they keep you full, which makes them perfect for winter meals! Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy starch. I love to serve this soup with homemade bread…talk about pure comfort! This soup stores well, so you can make a batch and eat it for several meals during the week. I think the flavors develop better after the first day of making it. YAY for cooking once and eating like 4 times!

1 Tbsp grape seed oil (optional)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (NOT yams)
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup green lentils, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red lentils, thoroughly rinsed and drained
Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, ginger, carrots and celery (alternately, you can dry saute the onion, ginger, carrots and celery adding in a bit of vegetable broth so veggies don’t stick). Season with a pinch each sea salt and black pepper and stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and fragrant.
Add garlic and sweet potatoes and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes to brown slightly, and then add curry powder. Stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes more.
Add 6 cups vegetable broth and increase heat to medium-high. Once at a low boil, add lentils, stir, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Note: if you don’t like the flavor of curry, omit and add 1 teaspoon dried thyme instead.
Serve immediately with cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)

Vegetable Chowder

I always look forward to January. I enjoy the cool weather, wearing layers, a nice fire in the fireplace and of course soup! Soup is one of my favorite meals for lunch and dinner because I can pack a nutritional powerhouse into one bowl. Soup is also very comforting to the body and spirit. I feel emotionally grounded and reflective over a bowl of soup. Emotional eating can be a good thing!

I was craving a good, creamy soup the other day. I looked in my refrigerator and pantry and came up with this recipe. RIGHT ON! This recipe really hit my “soup spot” and gave me ample protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep me going strong. The great thing about soup is you can create a delicious meal with what you have on hand – grains, legumes, vegetables, pasta, spices. It’s so fun to create a soup that is all your own. Give this recipe a try and enjoy the comfort a nice bowl of soup brings. Stay warm!

*My tip for getting a creamy soup without using dairy or fat: pureed beans. I recommend using a high-powered blender to get a nice, smooth consistency.

a good drizzle of grapeseed oil (optional)
1/2 onion, diced
3 small carrots, sliced
2 large stalks celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup fresh green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 cup water
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (15-ounces) garbanzo beans, undrained
1 cup lentil macaroni pasta
1 cup steamed broccoli florets, cut in half
1/2 cup frozen peas

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Drizzle in some grapeseed oil, if using. Saute onion, carrots and celery for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Alternatively, you can dry saute the onion, carrots and celery adding in a bit of water to prevent sticking.
In a high-powered blender, place garbanzo beans. Blend until a nice puree is achieved. Set aside. To the soup pot, add in garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add in green beans, water, broth and bean puree. Stir well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in lentil macaroni, broccoli and peas. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasonings. Serve.

Maple Baked Beans

Maple Baked Beans

Oh summer, you have almost passed! Sigh. I must hold on to some of the absolutely delectable recipes I made this summer and share them with you. Let’s begin with these super yummy baked beans! I have always been a baked bean fan. I don’t like an overwhelming tomato base, though, so this recipe really hits the spot! Slightly smoky, sweet, and creamy…these baked beans add the perfect accompaniment to any BBQ or gathering. I eat these as a base to my meal and add in veggies and fruit for a satisfying dinner. Easy peasy! Besides being delicious, beans are full of fiber, protein, and essential nutrients to keep you fueled and happy! Your gut will thank you for eating beans too! I will be making these baked beans now and into winter – I think you will too! Enjoy!

Maple Baked Beans 2

Maple Baked Beans 3

1 lb. Navy beans, rinsed

4 cups water

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon Earth Balance spread

1 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Bring beans to a boil in water. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours. Drain beans, reserving 2 cups of liquid. Saute onion in Earth Balance spread until golden. Combine beans, onion, and remaining ingredients in a 2-quart casserole dish. Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 2 hours, adding reserved liquid if necessary; stir occasionally. Uncover and bake about 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the top is slightly browned. Makes 4-6 servings.

 

Addicting “Cheese” Sauce

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It’s so easy to put the words “cheese” and “addicting” together isn’t it?!! I am using the word “cheese” very loosely here because there is no dairy to be found in this delicious recipe, but I can say that this sauce is quite addicting! The sweet potato and carrots give just the right texture, sweetness, and color for this sauce. And the spices, along with my favorite “cheesy” nutritional yeast make this a winning combination! I served this over pasta for a yummy “mac-n-cheese” experience and it was a hit…in fact, this was such a hit that my husband requests this sauce every week now! Go figure. This man is a cheese addict. I think you may like this sauce recipe over pasta, over veggies, as a dip…get creative and get addicted!

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1 large sweet potato (not yams), peeled & cubed

2 large carrots, chopped

3 tbsp grape seed oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos

3⁄4 tsp garlic powder

1⁄2 tsp onion powder

1⁄2 tsp sea salt

1⁄4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

red pepper flakes to sprinkle on top (optional)

Put the sweet potatoes and carrots in a steamer. Steam until tender – about 10 to 20 minutes. Place in a high-powered blender and add the remaining ingredients. Secure the lid and blend on “sauce” cycle or medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

We are in the throes of winter and I need warmth! I have been running our fireplace and turning up the heat a bit to stay warm. I love to make soups this time of year to warm me from the inside-out. There is something so comforting about a nice bowl of hot soup. Mmmmmm – I love it. This lentil soup is absolutely delicious and fits the ‘comfort’ bill for sure! I love all lentils, but I particularly like red lentils because of their lovely texture – they literally begin to melt into the soup and give a creaminess that is so satisfying. The flavors in this soup are warm, but not too spicy. I recommend making this soup a day ahead of serving it and let the flavors meld together – it is really delicious the next day after making it. Of course this soup is full of fiber and nutrients that keep your body clean, healthy, strong, and WARM! Enjoy!

Red Lentil Soup 3

Red Lentil Soup 4

1 small leek, chopped and cleaned well

1/2 cup diced carrot

1 celery stalk, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup dried lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

3 large kale leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a medium pot over medium heat, add leeks, carrot, celery, garlic, curry powder, sea salt, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper and stir to combine. Add in some vegetable broth to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse the lentils. Add the lentils, kale, and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are completely softened. Stir in lemon juice. Serve.

(Adapted from Recipe Source: Plant Powered Families)

Roasted Root Vegetables

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Winter is the season for root vegetables. I happen to LOVE roasting root vegetables to bring out the natural sugars and get a nice caramelization going on. Nothing better than that! This recipe is very flexible as you can use whatever root vegetables you have on hand – branch out and try some roots you haven’t before! (maybe parsnips, rutabaga, celery root) The beautiful hues of these vegetables gives you a clue to their vitamin and mineral content, as in good for you! I served these lovely roasted veggies as a side dish and my boys liked every single vegetable…my oldest said turnips were so delicious! That’s what happens when roasting comes into play. Suddenly vegetables become candy (wink-wink).

Roasted Root Vegetables 3

Roasted Root Vegetables

1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded and peeled
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
3 medium golden beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed
1 medium sweet onion
2 large turnips, scrubbed
5 large carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons grape seed oil*
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

*If you prefer not to use oil, moisten the vegetables with a bit of vegetable broth before seasoning.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss all the vegetables with grape seed oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don’t steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Enjoy!

Curried Cauliflower

 

Curried CauliflowerCauliflower is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. It is in the Brassica family, which means cruciferous anti-cancer powerhouse! I try to eat at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables each day. I think of it as my anti-cancer “supplement”. Now, raw cauliflower can be a little chalky in texture. I don’t mind it, but there is something divine about roasting cauliflower. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sugars and gives them a bit of smoky flavor. The curry powder in this recipe adds just the right punch of flavor to the cauliflower, which makes it absolutely addicting! Seriously. I eat this cauliflower like popcorn. It’s THAT good!

Curried Cauliflower 2

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon grape seed oil*
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 – 1 teaspoon curry powder

*If you prefer not to use any oil, moisten the cauliflower with some vegetable broth before adding spices. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and core the cauliflower and cut the florets into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Toss the cauliflower with the grape seed oil, sea salt/pepper and curry powder. Turn out the cauliflower onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is browned in spots and is tender. Serve immediately.

Black Bean Veggie Tacos

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Black beans are one of my all-time favorite legumes. They are slightly earthy which pairs well with smoky spices. Black beans are a nutrition powerhouse. They keep me fueled for long periods of time due to their high fiber content. These tacos are a favorite around our house because they have enough spice and flavor that you don’t taste the massive amount of spinach in the filling! Bonus for my kids! These have been nicknamed the “Popeye” tacos – eating these tacos will give you needed strength and energy just like a superhero! (Ok, so maybe not like a superhero but my kids don’t need to know that!) Use whatever taco toppings you like to make these your own. Happy taco eating!

Black Bean Veggie Tacos 2

Black Bean Veggie Tacos

Drizzle of grape seed oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag (12 to 14 ounces) of baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup vegetable broth

In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the grape seed oil and add the chopped garlic and the onions. Cook until soft, and lightly brown. Next add the ancho chili powder and cumin. Add the spinach, cover and cook until wilted (Note: the spinach will barely fit in the pan when first added, but will wilt rapidly.) Once the spinach is wilted, add the lime juice, canned beans, salt and pepper (to taste) and the vegetable broth. With a potato masher, mash about 1/3 of the beans. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Once it is at a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stir every few minutes. Once bean mixture is done, spoon the bean mixture into a large bowl. Serve “salad bar” style by lining up tortillas, the bean mixture, chopped cilantro, avocados, corn kernels, salsa, olives, lettuce…whatever toppings you love! (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Be free for Me)